Isotype controls are antibodies without a specific target. Ideal isotype control should be from the same species and isotype as the tested antibody for example for mammals IgG, IgD, IgA, IgM or IgE and subclass (mouse IgG2a, IgG2b, IgG2c) including the same light chain (κ - kappa or λ - lambda in mammals) and eventually the same conjugate.
Isotype controls are especially common in flow cytometry applications and allow the user to determine the level of non-specific antibody binding. However they may also be used as negative controls in a broad range of applications including immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and ELISA experiments.
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